Santris should actively partake in national development: DPR speaker

Santris should actively partake in national development: DPR speaker

Illustration: House of Representatives (DPR RI) Speaker Puan Maharani said santri should play an active role in the COVID-19 pandemic handling. (ANTARA/Katriana).

Jakarta (ANTARA) - House of Representatives (DPR RI) speaker Puan Maharani urged santris, traditional Islamic boarding school pupils, to play an active role in national development, including during the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our history has proved that santris have long played roles for the country since our independence, and they should maintain their active role for now and in the future," speaker Maharani stated in Jakarta on Friday during the commemoration of National Santri Day on October 22.

National Santri Day has a high historical value, as the designation was made to commemorate Islamic scholars and Ulema's Jihad Resolution on October 22, 1945, as an expression of support to Indonesia's independence, she explained.

The support of santris and ulemas to Indonesian leaders remains unquestioned, Maharani stated while pointing out that independence leaders Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta often consulted past ulemas to seek their advice on religion and nation building, a tradition that continues even until today.

"Some national figures were taught in pesantren during their youth, and until now, santris continue to play a significant role in various sectors in society, including the people's economy," the speaker affirmed.

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Maharani expressed optimism that the current pesantren would adapt their teachings in line with the modern needs without sacrificing their values, while santris studying in pesantren could conceive ideas and proposals to boost the people's livelihood and prosperity.

"I believe pesantrens will produce potential figures that will take our country forward in future," Maharani noted.

President Joko Widodo's decision to designate October 22 as National Santri Day is proof of the government's support for pesantren and santri, and the government strives to fulfil needs for their education and daily activities, the DPR speaker noted.

"The parliament passed Pesantren Law in 2019 to recognize pesantren as an educational institution with distinct characteristics and to provide a legal basis for protecting and supporting pesantren," Maharani stated. 

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